ServerPress, makers of DesktopServer, a WordPress local development tool, announced it is shutting down after 12 years in business. The company emailed its customers and posted a farewell message on its website after disabling new purchases and is in the process of canceling renewals for existing subscriptions.
ServerPress was founded by Steve Carnam in 2010. His leadership helped the company remain independent of large hosting companies that have scooped up WordPress development tools of all kinds. Carnam described how the market has changed, forcing ServerPress’ partners to make the difficult decision to close:
Earlier this year, one of the team members questioned whether or not DesktopServer v5.0 would have a viable market share. We had been so focused on building it out that throughout the development, we lost sight of constantly checking the temperature in the room. Once we started discussing this we came to the conclusion that DS5’s potential market share has changed significantly over the last 10 years. The WordPress development tool landscape has grown and diversified greatly. This has diluted DesktopServer’s overall market share. The time, effort, and costs to bring in new users to DesktopServer’s workflow would be too much overhead for ServerPress to be sustainable. While many larger, well-funded companies would be able to absorb such costs involved, a company of our position cannot.
ServerPress did not communicate any plans for the future of its software products beyond the fact that they will no longer be supported. Longtime users and fans were disappointed to learn that the company is shutting down and some asked if they might consider making DesktopServer available to the public.
I asked Carnam if ServerPress is in talks with another company to sell or if they are considering making DesktopServer’s code available. He could not offer any further details but said he may have more news in the near future.
“With regards to selling, or open sourcing the code (which would be great); I’m unfortunately not at liberty to say at this time,” Carnam said.
The small ServerPress team, which includes Stephen J Carnam, Marc Benzakein, and Gregg Franklin, have not yet announced what their next ventures will be, but they plan to support current customers for the duration of their subscriptions.
“If you are a Premium Subscriber, we will continue to support you until your subscription is up,” Carnam said. “For some, that will mean support on issues with DesktopServer v3.9.x. For others, it may mean assistance with migrating to another local development tool. We will continue to help those of you with Premium Memberships with site deployments until your subscription expires.”
I do hope that someone picks up development. Not sure of the market, but I do know that it’s a great tool. It has saved me a lot of time over the years.